Research from this year revealed that people between the ages of 25 and 40 were responsible for creating 50% of new businesses in the UK since July 2020. Separate pre-pandemic research also revealed that more than half of Gen Z had wanted to start their own company.
These cause-driven, digital natives are less likely to settle for jobs that do not make them happy and more are founding their own businesses. Today, we’re taking a look at eight entrepreneurs under 30 you should look out for.
Hugo Tilmouth, 25 and Charlie Baron, 27: ChargedUp, CleanedUp, ServedUp
Created to solve the problem of phones dying on the go, ChargedUp was founded by Forbes 30 under 30 alumni Hugo Tilmouth (25) and engineering graduate and entrepreneur Charlie Baron (27) in 2017. The technology allows users to locate and access charging banks scattered in hospitality venues across Europe via an app. But after subsequent lockdowns – meaning the need for charging ports fell – the two entrepreneurs used their contact book to bring new solutions to the hospitality industry.
CleanedUp, the UK’s largest sanitiser station network, was soon in high demand as the company worked to supply 60,000 venues across the UK. After forming relations with hospitality venues across the UK, ServedUp was then launched to help the sector adjust to digital ordering. The parent business, Up.co, now has links with 35,000 hospitality venues across Europe using via these three initiatives.
Natalie Glaze, 28 and Zanna Van Dijk, 28: Stay Wild
Stay Wild was created by this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 winners Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk in 2018. Inspiration for the sustainable swimwear company came from the cofounders’ love for the ocean and passion for sustainability.
The London-based brand takes recycled ocean plastic collected in Italy and converts it into regenerated nylon for the pieces. During the pandemic, the brand also launched a new underwear line.
Johnny Boufarhat, 27: Hopin
Johnny Boufarhat (27) launched Hopin in 2019. The live shared experiences platform has since grown rapidly as the need for online events skyrocketed during the pandemic. The startup gained the title of Europe’s fastest growing tech startup of all time after reaching a $5.65B valuation in just under two years.
Since launch – when the startup only had six employees – it has grown to boast more than 900 employees in nearly 50 countries. The company is currently valued at over $7B. According to The Sunday Times Rich List, Boufarhat is Britain’s youngest self-made billionaire.
Ben Towers, 22: Tahora
Workplace connectivity platform Tahora was founded by Ben Towers, 22, and Mike Rose, 29, in 2019. The app is designed to improve mental health in the workplace and bridge the gap between work life and social life by connecting company employees in the same area through online groups or nearby social events. The company has now raised over $1M. Ben launched his first business, Towers Designs, when he was just 11.
Dana Lattouf: Tickitto AI
Tickitto AI was launched by Dana Lattouf while she was at university to help make the buying and selling of tickets simpler. The events booking platform uses AI technology to provide tailored events recommendations to users.
The entrepreneur launched the platform after applying for the University of Bath’s Innovation Bursary, which provides support for young entrepreneurs from industry leaders. Lattouf was also a member of the Google for Startups’ Female Founders Residency programme. The startup secured another £3.25M in funding in September.
Timothy Armoo, 25: Fanbytes
Influencer marketing agency Fanbytes was created by Entrepreneur Timothy Armoo in 2015, while he was still at university. The startup creates social media marketing campaigns to help business owners reach Gen Z audiences.
Fanbytes also managed the launch of the UK’s first ‘TikTok house’ in 2020, which brought together six content creators to create videos during the pandemic from their new home, nicknamed “Bytehouse.”
Jack Parsons, 25: The Youth Group
Founder and CEO of The Youth Group Jack Parsons is working to create a connected community across the UK that helps young people reach their full potential. The company provides young people with tools, such as mentors to help them grow their skills for the workplace. The organisation also partners with government and education sectors to help them support more young people.
Parsons is also the UK’s chief youth officer and has worked closely with the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to deliver the government’s Kickstart Scheme.
Urenna Okonkwo, 28: Cashmere
Founded by Okonkwo in 2018, Cashmere allows young shoppers to find an accessible route into luxury fashion. The social savings platform allows young people to browse for luxury pieces from brands including Gucci and Fendi, and budget for it via an app.
Users can select a set amount to save every month to purchase the product without having to turn to credit. Okonkwo came up with her idea when she was just 23, started working on it at 25 and has been helping young people save ever since.